Tag Archives: winter storm

The Big Chill – Christmas

Blue sky and blue shadows. Beautiful but chilly.

Unless you were vacationing in some tropical paradise this past week, you probably are aware of the big arctic event that blasted through the center of the country this past week.  After a relatively balmy fall season leading up to the holidays, this is what my little corner of the Midwest experienced this week. 

The weather forecasters were urgently warning much of the nation to pay attention and take appropriate action.  Which we did.  The cellar was loaded with firewood in anticipation of the deep freeze.  The fridge was full of the usual supplies.  Our son and his girlfriend were rushed to Louisville on Thursday in anticipation of their very early flight back to the west coast on Friday.  (Fortunately, they experienced  only a small delay.)  We made it home by early afternoon before the big blast and battened down the hatches in preparation.

By early evening, the temperatures began to drop, the misty rain turned to driving snow, and the wind cranked up the volume.  It didn’t stop until today.  The high here yesterday was zero.  I didn’t even step foot outside the house until today when I went for a walk and to catch up on outdoor chores.

The sun was out and everything was sparkly.  The bird feeder has been popular.  We’ve gone through forty pounds of sunflower seeds in the past two weeks.  I saw plenty of tracks here and there, especially around the mulch pile.  I was looking for another visitor, too.  I spotted a mink skulking about last week which was the first that I’ve seen around here.  Haven’t seen any deer or turkeys but I’m sure they’re holed up somewhere.  Leo the cat has been taking marathon naps and very quick trips to check the weather.  The dog doesn’t care and is always ready to play with anyone who ventures outdoors.

We haven’t had a big freeze like this for many years so it’s been an adventure.

Anyway, I hope that wherever you are spending Christmas day that you’re warm and cozy and safe.  Enjoy your families if you’re near, or your friends if you’re not.  Or better yet, make your friends into a new family. 

Let the warmth of your hearts extend to those in need. Stay safe.

Best wishes for the season.

Snowmageddon

I love this view of the ice-covered branches, sparkling in the sunlight.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or on a remote island this week, you’ve heard about the huge snowstorm that swept the nation.  News stories abounded, showing endless reels of people who were worse off than you.  Ice, snow, trees crashing, roads impassable.

Well, this was our reality this week. 

The ice was the first to arrive, coating this rhododendron right outside the window.

Fortunately we had plenty of warning as we watched the storm roll up from Texas through the Ohio River Valley.  Watching hours of local weather predictors guess whether the front would stay upstate or come down our way. Where is the snow line?  Who will see sleet and ice?  It’s tiresome after awhile.

But we were a little nervous.  Ice on trees, add some wind, pop, there goes your electric for a few days.

My husband gets in pioneer mode.  Park the newer car in the garage.  Park the other vehicles away from the trees.  Make sure we have supplies in – milk, bread (I live with a guy who bakes), wine.  Check the oil lamps, the kerosene heater, the electronics are charged up as is the backup.  I spoke about this before in a previous blog.  We have a gas (propane) stove and hot water so no problem.  Can’t use the gas furnace or the wood furnace because there would be no electric to run the blowers.  But we do keep the wood fired up low to keep the pipes from freezing.

We were lucky this time.  First the ice, then some sleet, then some snow.  No wind.  No loss of power.  Just enjoy the peace inside with some books and the TV. 

View down the drive, with the late afternoon shadows. We didn’t really have any trouble getting out, especially after grading the driveway.

My husband and the neighbor got outside to grade the drive with their tractors.  I took a few walks with the dog.  The glittering ice on the trees was so beautiful, tinkling a bit with a little breeze.  Kept the birdfeeder filled.  We buy sunflower seeds in forty-pound bags. Now we’re listening to the giant thumps as the ice melts and slides off the roof.  The grandkids are over, taking more cooking lessons and playing with the toys that they don’t see every day.  Stomping and sliding outside with the dog. 

I hope you were able to find some good in the storm, even if it was just a little peaceful time to count your blessings. 

The birdfeed has been popular this week, normally with dozens of birds at a time. Cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, titmice, juncos, and more. We go through forty pounds of sunflower seeds pretty quickly.